This morning we are delighted to release the flagship wine from Realm Cellars, The Bard 2018. Since its first release in 2002 it has risen to be regarded as one of the foremost Napa wines, consistently delivering the finest quality with a low production ensuring scarcity. The raison d’etre of the Bard is simple, to perennially showcase the finest Cabernet Sauvignon on the Napa Valley floor, taking the finest fruit from Kalon, Dr. Crane, Blair Vineyard, Weitz and Fortuna, among others. Its canvas is the vines of Napa’s finest terroir, from said realm, it has cemented itself among the columns of the pantheon of leading Napa wine.

The 2018 vintage has earned a superb 98 point score from both Jeb Dunnuck and Antonio Galloni of Vinous, the latter was absolutely effusive in his praise stating, “The Bard is fabulous and also one of the very finest wines I have ever tasted from Realm” as well as emphasizing its exceedingly reasonable price point, “The Bard is a tremendous relative value within the context of high-end Napa Valley. I loved it.”  We are thrilled to be able to offer it to you today for just £680 per case of 6 IB, which looks especially compelling when compared to the equivalently rated 2016 vintage which has been trading at a 12% premium of £770 or the 2013 vintage which has climbed even higher to £900 per case of 6.

Realm Cellars was started by Juan Mercado, now led by the very talented French winemaker Benoit Touquette, who was mentored by Michel Rolland. The mission statement of Realm Cellars was to create something that transcends a single vineyard, bottle of wine, or an individual. Realm does not own vineyards; it focuses its energy on securing the highest quality fruit from Napa’s premium sites. Realm Cellars, however, takes this a step further, they do not only buy fruit, they develop long-term relationships with owners and growers and thereon play an integral part in how the vineyard is farmed. This process is taken further by employing their own viticulturist who oversees this on a full-time basis. The whole process is a clever combination of embracing tradition and market disruption. 

As in every vintage, the Bard 2018 predominantly features Napa’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon (85%), with a dash of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and just 2% Petite Sirah for the very first time. The resulting blend is a beautifully opulent wine which exudes seductive ripe black fruits and intoxicating warm spices, all of which pack a tremendous impact while remaining vibrant and finessed.

The team today is one of the most talented in the world and The Bard is their flagship wine. The Bard is a tribute to the great wines of Bordeaux’s left bank. Early on Mercado named the wine after one of William Shakespeare’s characters. Realm Cellars itself is named after the immortal lines of William Shakespeare’s King Richard II and The Bard, one of Shakespeare’s sobriquet’s, is the quintessential wine of the Realm, heady if not slightly esoteric stuff. The price on release today is £113 per bottle, which for a wine of this renown, small production and with 98 points represents brilliant relative value. This is one not to be missed for Napa lovers.